Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Nighty Night

As I transition to the basement, an interesting phenomenon has struck me: my bedtime routine. It used to be simple enough – 10 PM, kids in their beds, Carrie and I in our bed: twenty minutes of the 10 O’clock news culminating in the five day forecast (Paul Simon did once write “I get all the news I need on the weather report”) and lights out. There were of course variations but those pale next to the regularity of the routine.

Now I find myself in the basement, frequently before 10 PM. I may have already said my good nights or maybe a brief climb up the steps for the children, but always back to the basement, back to the bed that looks so big for one. And I hesitate – one more e-mail, one more anything. Now I would like to say that my g-mail box is bursting at the seams, a proverbial full dance card. It is not. So it is shortly after 10, the e-mails are answered, the eyelids are drooping, but oh that empty bed.

My fingers dance on the keyboard – there are so many places to go: the standards, Gay.com or Craig’s List and the new ones: Queerclick.com or Squirt.org. Pictures to see, free video trailers to tease and IM’ing – a tough one for this old guy. There are people looking to do things – “bad” enticing things. But it is late, I am in the basement, there is a front door which is still “ours”, not “mine”. So I read and gaze, my hands may dance on more than the keyboard and eventually there is bed, the comfort of sleep.

But I wonder, what if? What if I was in an apartment, what if there was the chance to hook-up one of those nights. Would I leave it as a tease or would I venture out? And if I did venture out how would I feel afterwards? Excited, gratified, sated or would it just be a further reminder of the strange land of being alone, a place I am just not used to.

The basement is an anchor and an anchor can be a stabilizing force, one that keeps us grounded, one that keeps us from drifting aimlessly with each passing current. But an anchor can also be a weight, one that keeps us from exploring, from continuing a journey.

For me, I see it as the former, a steadying force, one that will force me to continue to explore my gayness in healthy outlets, not the semi-anonymous hookups I have been leaving behind. But when I look at my bed at 10 PM tonight, my empty bed, when I bask in the soft blue glow of my computer screen, when I find myself on those websites....

4 comments:

Paul said...

I would suspect that a big part of what comes next is building relationships, not turning tricks (assuming that the slut phase comes and goes pretty quickly, if at all). The hours you keep may likely be fairly “normal.”

Anonymous said...

Nate, you're not 20 any more. Only those in college (with no 7:00 AM classes) begin their evenings at 11:00 PM.

marlan said...

There are some decent guys out there chatting, to find the right guy also, Nate. It's not all sex and mirrors.

There will also come a time when that basement itself will not be right for you. You're very fortunate to be in control of this, somewhat. Many men are just thrown out.

Spider said...

Just remember - you are where you need to be my friend... your best thinking and actions got you in the basement... CHILL... you have been there what - less than a month... you are still thinking of it as a cell... when it is really a haven... a place that is yours, within the security of a home that you know and are comfortable in... look at it as your place to be you... some nights that is going to be turning in at 10:00 - and some nights it is going to be jerking off to the blue screen and wondering "what if" until 1:00 in the morning... and both are fine... because you are in your place - your space - your safe haven... your emotions are healing, your mind is regrouping and your feelings are sorting themselves out... enjoy this time - something tells me that in 6 months you are going to wish you had this space back...